Kendra is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Rome and Greece
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to study abroad because it would allow me to travel the world and experience different cultures while still continuing my education. I saw study abroad as an opportunity to experience first hand the things that I was learning about. I chose the Roman-Greco program because I liked that we would be living in two countries. Both Italy and Greece are amazing countries full of things to see and do.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
The first day we arrived in Rome we had a flight leaving to begin our pre-traveling. Not understanding the language, being unfamiliar with the area and being new to traveling, we really struggled to get to the airport. We had directions but were quickly overwhelmed. Hesitant at first, we decided to ask the locals for help. This was the best decision we could have made. All of the locals were so willing to help us find where we needed to go. It was great to know that we didn't have to figure everything out for ourselves and that sometimes it is okay to ask for help when needed.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
There are literally no words that can describe my study abroad experience. It was the best time of my life and the best decision that I have ever made. I learned a lot about myself through my traveling and my time in Rome and Athens as well as learning a considerable amount about these two cities, their history and their culture. The excursions brought me to awesome places that I may not have been able to go to otherwise. Our group became a makeshift family that has now been brought back to campus and will forever have a special connection. There is no doubt that I would recommend that everyone studies abroad if they have the opportunity and of course I would highly recommend the Roman-Greco program.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
Through studying abroad I have become much more independent, responsible, and mature. Traveling has a way of making you realize what you are capable of and how much is out there in the world. I am so eager to learn more about new things and new places after being abroad. Study abroad stretched me to take classes that I generally wouldn't take which opened up my mind to these areas of study. I have a whole new perspective and appreciation for new cultures as well as our American one.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Do everything that you can to make the most of your time abroad-it goes quick! Be open to new experiences. Get to know everyone in your group. Step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Expect that you will have challenges but be prepared to look at them as learning experiences.